stereo electric guitars

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Graham Kennedy, May 11, 2001.

  1. Hello

    Does anyone have any smart ideas for recording stereo guitars and keeping them sounding great in mono? I have been trying to cut down on my guitar double tracking and go for a stereo guitar instead.

    With a close mic and a room mic things get hollow sounding when in mono. I have tried an x/y closish set up (same mics) but that gets in the way of the vocals. I have tried 2 different sounding mics (sm 57 and 4038) which give a nice wide sound but rubbish in mono.

    I have tried various combinations of phase reverse and even tried time aligning stuff in pro tools.

    Does anyone actually care about mono as far as guitars go?


  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I live for mono compatability. As for "stereo guitars" without 'double tracking' (which is actually dual mono...but we'll let that drop), try a stereo mic.

    You'll find they line up phase wise, so you won't get that 'hollow'/comb filtered kind of sound.

    One neat trick is to take something like a Neumann SM-69, use one capsule aimed at the amp, and the second aimed away from the amp (mic'ing the room). You'll find that "ambient" tone you're looking for (providing the room doesn't suck), and have "phase coherency".

    Best of luck
  3. Does your mixer have insert points? The jack's tip carries the preamp out, and the ring connects to the EQ in. With nothing plugged into the jack, the tip and ring connect together. Inserting a stereo plug into the jack interrupts the flow between tip and ring, and allows routing the signal through an external device.

    Try using an insert cable plugged halfway in to the main channels insert point and mult/jump it to another channel input. Then take another insert cable plugged halfway into the insert of the second channel and jump it to another. Keep the main channel panned center, the other two panned left and right. Add eq and FX to taste. I gotten some fairly huge gtr. sounds this way.

    Suppose you have a stereo piano patched into the mix with the left (lower keys) coming in on channel 2 and the right (upper keys) coming in on channel 3. For an even bigger stereo spread, mult channel 2 to channel 1, pan channel 1 full left, add a slight amount of low end boost (try shelving eq at about 150hz). Now mult channel 3 to channel 4, pan channel 4 full right, add a bit of high end boost (start with shelving eq at about 3-5 kHz.). The eq spreads out the sound just a bit more, and because we're not using delay to create the spreading effect, there are no comb-filtering or cancellation problems.

    If you would rather do this in DAW land here's a link to an article that covers the same subject.
    Link to "VIRTUAL MICS" by Craig Anderton

    I hope this helps! Have fun experimenting, they don't call it playing for nothin.

    Frank Frombach
  4. Solar

    Solar Guest

    Here's a whole different idea... this might not work for ya, or maybe not, depends what you're doing. But you could try bi-amping. I like it a lot better than double tracking for many things... like when the guy can't do it twice the friggin same. Either:

    1) split signal from guitar via whatever (I had a stereo guitar for a bit and you could toggle between the outs, that was fun), even a stereo effect pedal if that works for the sound, into two amps... the same kind or even different... or the same but with slightly different tone settings. Just make it sound cool in the room. Then close mic each one, pan left/right.

    2) or set the amps up side by side, say errrr 3-4 feet apart, or whatever, and try X/Y (you'll get more stereo action than with one amp and maybe it'll get outta the way of the vocal)... or spaced omni (more mono problems here but good for a wide spacey sound). I'm even goofing around with a Blum pair and arranging amps around it... but I'll have to get back to you on how that turns out.
  5. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    One really eye opening thing to try is to run a few of your favorite hard rock/punk/metal guitar heavy national albums through your console and hit the mono button. I'll leave you to come up with your own opinion on the results. If this doesn't change your opinion on mono compatability for heavier guitar based music nothing else will.
  6. cool!

    that has given me loads of ideas! I like the blumlien idea. that has to sound huge. In fact i am off to scrounge 4 amps to see what it will be like. hopefully really wide but still mono compatible? - Although probably not what i have in mind for this track.

    I like the single point stereo mic idea. I think that is probably going to work.

    thanks - keep it coming if there is more!

    (it is the warmest day in glasgow for more than a year and I am shut in the studio!) :(
  7. Here's another easy one- Run the mono signal through a short delay (ie- 15-25ms) and pan the original and delayed signals to opposite sides... gives you an exaggerated pseudo-stereo that will work fine in mono if you don't have them too close to phase out. Sounds great for some things, not for others... as always, ymmv.


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